Animals and Cannabis
They'll eat it given the chance!
Yes, our animals cousins love getting high. It has often been observed that domestic and wild animals can get drunk by eating fermented fruit. Like wise, some animals love grazing on marijuana plants. In the wild, herbivores like deer are known to be heavy feeders and growers are advised to protect their plants. Birds and rodents love to dine on cannabis seeds, as well. Humans living in traditional societies, have often been quoted by anthropologists as saying they discovered the medicinal properties of plants by observing animals and their habits. Terpenes in cannabis plants, like those found in lavender and other aromatic plants, can and do attract all sorts of animals.
Your Pets and Cannabis
The question is, of course, is cannabis, or its THC free derivative CBD oil, safe for our beloved animal companions. Just to clarify, THC is the psychoactive part of the plant. CBD oil is extracted to have a minimal amount of THC, thus making them federally legal.
The other question is what percentage of CBD oil is actually bio-available? Anaviimarket says:
‘The bioavailability of ingested CBD is roughly 13-19%. This means that if you swallow 20mg of pure CBD on an empty stomach, sometimes less than 3mg of it will actually make it into your blood and have an effect. Using a tincture, spray or strip to absorb CBD in your mouth is a popular method of taking CBD.’
Remember, CBD oil from the marijuana plant is still illegal in some states, therefore your oil will need to be derived from hemp.
WILL CBD OIL DO ANYTHING FOR MY PET?
CBD Oil is not psycho-active, but what can it really do your your pet? Currently, there is not enough data to come to definitive conclusions. What we do have is anecdotal evidence from pet owners who claim that CBD has helped their pets with seizures, anxiety and pain.
CBD oil is also anecdotally known for its anti-inflammatory properties, providing relief from conditions, such as arthritis and allergies, caused by inflammation. We must await further studies to determine CBD oil’s long term effects.
Know also that CBD products are not regulated by the FDA, so please do enough research to find quality products – that are preferably organic. You must also research the dosage requirements for your animal companion, due to its size, species, and weight.
You have used DMSO, diatomaceous earth, and blood root on your horses, so should you try CBD oil?
It would be wise to consult with your vet first. In some states where the law is unclear, you must raise the issue first, as your vet will not be able to legally initiate the conversation.
Innovet claims that CBD oil is beneficial for a wide range of symptoms, ranging from stress to arthritis to pain, that are afflicting your super sensitive animal. However, you must rememeber CBD oil is not a cure, but a method of managing those conditions.
Innovet also warns that you must be very careful about only administering THC free oil.
‘THC is toxic to some animals, so always opt for pure, high-quality CBD supplements. Never give your horse marijuana directly.
‘Some of the negative side effects that could occur include lethargy, depression, agitation, or other unusual behaviors. If you notice any of these, speak to your vet before continuing to manage your horse’s health with CBD.’
Additionally, your CBD oil must be specially prepared for horses, not cats and dogs.
For more information and dosage requirements, please read:
Again there are no long term studies, but evidence from dog owners indicates that CBD oil helps manage pain in dogs with arthritis, hip dysplasia, and mobility issues, among other conditions.
Conventional drugs, such as steroids and opioids, carry risks of side effects that CBD oil may not have.
Scientists have discovered that the Endocannabinoid System in all animals acts with receptors, transmitters, and specialized enzymes to regulate bodily functions including metabolism, immunity, digestion, allergies, and anxiety.
Since the Endocannabinoid System regulates many bodily functions, it can have a broad stabilizing effect on those system, as well.
Always do your diligence about the quality of the product and the dosage requirements for your pet.
Do not let your cats nibble on marijuana plants, due to the toxicity of the plants to felines.
Generally, CBD oil, in the correct dosages, is safe for cats, but may have some side effects, such as allergic reactions, lethargy, and gastro-intestinal upset.
However, the benefits may outweigh the risks. In some animals, CBD can increase appetite, decrease anxiety, and control seizures, allergies, asthma, IBD, pancreatitis and pain.
This is a wonderful compendium from a practicing holistic vet who prescribes CBD to kitties regularly, where she talks about what to look for in brands, along with dosage requirements and contraindications. She also makes the valid point that our cats are wired to mask pain and are generally under-served when it comes to care.
The House Rabbit Society cautions to keep all plants out of the reach of pet bunnies, since THC is toxic to rabbits. However, CBD shows promise in a variety of health benefits for rabbits. The Petwell writes: ‘(CBD) can reduce widespread joint pain and provide relief for even the most anxious of bunnies. It’s also useful to treat seizures, other mood problems, and combat the negative effects of aging.’
Small animals like mice, rats and guinea pigs have, unfortunately, born the brunt of human medical experimentation.
Consequently, there is quite a bit of information about CBD and rats. Fascinating research is being conducted on cannabis and tumors. From Medical Cannabis Report: ‘Studies in mice and rats have shown that cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow.’
For an article with photos about how CBD salve shrunk a pet rat’s tumor:
Please consult your veterinarian for dosage requirements.
There are no long term studies, but again avoid THC compounds. Pet Well writes: ‘CBD fights joint pain, protects against body-wide inflammation, and provides critical nutrients to aging avians. The CBD and fat content in hemp is also a great way to fortify the immune system.’
There are many species of birds, so your best bet is to Google your pet bird species and read a variety of articles, both pro and con, before determining whether you will dose your bird. Again, speaking to a holistic or integrative veterinarian will help.
Good news so far, but does CBD work on cold-blooded animals? Apparently, it does, since all animals have almost identical endocannabinoid systems that help break down cannabis properties.
Farmers in Switzerland and Lichtenstein are protesting the ban on hemp feed for livestock. The fear is that THC will pass over to milk and meat destined for human consumption. However, farmers believe that animals fare better with cannabis and are more relaxed than with any other diet.
Although added hormones are prohibited In the EU, antibiotics and hormones are prevalent in meat and diary in the United Sates. Surely a natural product, like hemp feed, is less harmful to the overall health of farm animals. Read on:
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